Iran should sign intl. copyright treaties: publisher

May 20, 2008 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- The managing director of Iran’s Qoqnus publishing company said that Iranian publishing companies face problems because of the infringement of copyrights in Iran.

“International authors do not trust Iranian publishing companies, and this is one of the consequences of the violation of copyright laws in Iran,” Amir Hosseinzadegan told MNA on Monday.
The Qoqnus managing director also said that copyright international law allows foreign authors like John Barth to object to the unauthorized publication of their books in Iran.
The Persian translation of Barth’s book “The Floating Opera” released by the Qoqnus publishing company in Iran, has recently won Once Upon a Time Literary Award in the Non-Iranian section.
In a letter to the Qoqnus publishing company, American novelist John Barth has asked Iranian publishers to publish the copyrighted books only with the permission of the copyright owners.
However, he stated that it is a great pleasure for an author to see that his books are translated into other languages and published in other countries and that he feels honored by the recent publication of his 50-year-old novel in Iran.
John Barth was not the first writer who objected to the unauthorized publication of his book in Iran, Hosseinzadegan added.
He explained that many foreign publishers do not sign agreements with Iranian publishing companies and many of them who sign agreements are not satisfied with their royalties since book prices are much lower in Iran compared to Western countries.
Hosseinzadegan said that more than half of the international books he had published were authorized by means of agreements made between the Qoqnus publishing company and foreign publishers such as Routledge or the authors of the books.
One of the terms of the deals Qoqnus concluded with foreign publishers is that no other publisher in Iran has the right to publish the book, but this agreement is ignored here due to the violation of copyright law, he mentioned.
“I, as an Iranian publisher, call for Iran’s entry into international copyright treaties because foreign publishers expect us to obtain permission for publishing their books,” he said.
He said that it would benefit the country’s publishers and readers if Iran signed international treaties on intellectual property rights because otherwise the Iranian people will not have access to a major proportion of the valuable works published throughout the world, he observed.
He also expressed hope that John Barth’s letter would be a catalyst for a new movement promoting observation of copyright law.